I found this picture of Selena in my picture folder on the laptop and wondered why I've never used it, because I like it a lot. At least I don't remember using it. It was taken almost exactly one year ago, which means she was just over a year old. Now she's just over two. In case you don't know, Selena is our first grandchild, and the only way you wouldn't know that is if you've never been to this blog before. She's star of the show here, you know. Soon, by God's mercies, she is going to have to share that status. Tomorrow, our daughter Bev will be thirty-seven weeks pregnant, which most of you know means she will be considered full term and should be delivering at any time. The child she is carrying is a girl, as far as modern technology is correct, and Edie and Bev have named her Shana Elizabeth. (Shana: SHAY-nuh)
In the summer of 2006, when I first began blogging, I wrote a post about Selena before she was born. If you don't mind, I'd like to repeat that post here now, making changes to dedicate it to Shana. I'm including it in this series about the election because I think this topic is one of the most crucial as to where we stand morally as a nation. In fact, I have heard many ads by one of the candidates concerning this very issue; it's that important. Yes, indeed, the one who resides in the womb is THAT important. And it will affect my vote -- and that of many others.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16
What an amazement—that child in the womb. The people in the medical field and the ones who write the books call this little one a fetus. From a scientific point of view, I would admit the term is correct. But I prefer to use the term "baby." No matter what stage it is in from its inception, as far as I’m concerned, it's a child, a little baby, with a beating heart from almost the beginning and adding organs and bones and muscles at breakneck speed. He or she puts on quite a show for all who are privileged to open the curtains from time to time by means of one of technology’s most popular wonders—the sonogram. No matter whether what is seen is a he or a she or maybe sometimes even more in number than had been expected, each and every one who is in that initial stage of life there, sheltered, protected and growing, is a child.
That is where my second grandchild is now, and she's not a fetus, she's a child. And her name is Shana. Before she officially makes her entrance, I would like to ask her this one simple first catechism question that her PopPop and I taught her mommy more than twenty-five years ago. It is one of the most crucial issues she will need to come to grips with in all of her life which is now just beginning: Who made you, Shana? That's the question I’m addressing today, and the catechism answer is just one simple word: God. That is all the answer that it provides, and do you know what? That's really all the answer that is needed.
I would like to tell her that it has to be God who made her. There is no one else who could have written such a master plan as this one, where two itsy bitsy cells, one from her daddy and one from her mommy, could join up to create that microscopic creature she once was and called, of all things, a zygote. What other mathematician could have computed the cell division that would then take place, eventually graduating her to the status of the much more sophisticated title of embryo? And then the development process already mentioned which would bring her to the current position of so-called fetus? Who else could have innovated such a provision for her as that wonderment called the placenta? Who else could have contrived the intricate manner in which food and oxygen get transported from her mommy to her by means of such fantastic inventions that we know by strange names such as villi and umbilical? Who else could have made the transportation arrangements which bring her into a waiting world riding in a vehicle called travail? But after arriving amidst breaking waters and sweat and all kinds of tears, she will not be left to fend for herself. For who else would have thought of a way to still provide sustenance, manufactured in a factory of which He Himself was architect? Who else could have done all this and done it so magnificently?
Yes, there is just one answer to this catechism question. It is the only possible response that there could be. Shana can’t tell yet, but I hope someday she will know the answer to the question. But not only that. I hope someday she will know the One who is the answer. So I’ll repeat, once more, that first catechism question that I would pose to my second grandchild: Who made you? And I will repeat the answer with all of the exuberance I can muster from within me: GOD!!!
Note: See the first post in this series for the ground rules on comments.